Bar closures and stay-at-home orders hit the service industry particularly hard, leaving many without a steady income.

2020 Sagamore Family Bottle Lineup, bottles on white

2020 Sagamore Family Bottle Lineup

As such, spirits brands stepped up to help their most loyal pourers, the bartenders. For Sagamore Spirit, the Maryland-based Rye brand, it was important to contribute by instantly supporting the pockets of bartenders and keeping them mixing and engaged.

The Startender Program tasked bartenders with a challenge—make their own rye-based cocktail with their best quarantine ingredients. Some put a spin on the Old Fashioned cocktail, others riffed on the Whiskey Sour.  Bartenders from over 35 markets nationwide participated by making at-home videos of themselves preparing the whiskey cocktails. Sagamore Spirit paid each bartender for their videos.

According to Marcus Stephens, Vice President of Brand Marketing for Sagamore Spirit, “It was important for us to support the bartenders who for so long have supported our brand. We ran the Startender Program for three months to help bartenders with immediate support during these difficult times.”

In all, the brand received 85 videos that they edited into these cool video clips. Check them out.

Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour and Mix It Up


Thank you to the participating bartenders:

Joshua Back

Zach Black

Zach Brisson

Gianna Burns

Gavin Chan

Andy Chandler

Kelly Dawson

CJ DiMarco

Celeste Dittamo

Ivo Donchev

Casey Dvorak

Maria Fricks

Josh Gelfand

Chris Green

Tyler Groom

Rey Guzman

Jason Hanshaw

Tyler Hartmann

Nathan Hines

Liz Jankowitz

Marcel Jinoch

Dusty Jones

Scott Kretzmann

Jacob Levine

Natalie Lichtman

Evan Lopez

Sean Martin

Faviola McClanahan

Ryan Minnick

Rocco Mongelli

Kat Moulder

Katherine Parsons

Derek Provan

Kaitlin Ryan

Leah Saari

Adrian San Gabriel

Austyn Shields

Ryan Sparks

Tony Stewart

Stephen Underhill

Kat Webster

Jackie Well

Stephen Wicker

Dave Winter